IOP to enforce face masks at indoor food and retail spots, effective July 1

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Isle of Palms City Council passed an emergency ordinance on Friday, June 26 that will make face coverings required in indoor food and retail establishments effective July 1.

Isle of Palms is the first municipality in the East Cooper to require face coverings in public spaces. Masks will be made mandatory in indoor food and retail establishments, effective at noon on July 1.

Friday afternoon, city council convened to vote on Emergency Ordinance 2020-10. The motion passed in favor 6-2 of mandating face masks for customers and employees for up to 60 days in the following food and retail locations:

Food requirements

  • All in-dining, delivery or takeout establishments

Retail requirements

  • Grocery stores 
  • Convenience stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Alcoholic beverage stores 
  • Laundromats 
  • Furniture stores

Exemptions

  • Outdoor areas adjacent to retail and foodservice establishments in which social distancing of at least 6 feet is possible and observed
  • Religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering
  • Those who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition
  • Children under 2 years old, provided that adults accompanying children ages 2-10 shall use reasonable efforts to wear face coverings while inside the enclosed area of any retail of foodservice establishment
  • Patrons while they are dining
  • Private, individual offices
  • When complying with directions of law enforcement officers
  • Where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services such as the receipt of dental services or while swimming

Persons in violation of the ordinance are subject to a fine of no more than $25. 

In related news, the City of Charleston passed a mask ordinance 8-1 on Thursday night, requiring face coverings for public indoor spaces, commercial transportation or crowded areas, effective July 1. First-time offenders will receive a warning followed by a $50 fine.

Mount Pleasant was scheduled to meet Friday afternoon to address face mask requirements; however, the meeting was postponed due to lack of a full council despite having a confirmed quorum. The rescheduled date has yet to be announced.

Cities such as Greenville and Columbia have enacted similar ordinances with $25 fines for individuals and $100 fines for businesses in some cases. Gov. Henry McMaster has not taken any measures to mandate face coverings statewide at this time.

For more information on community updates regarding COVID-19, visit here.

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